Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-298
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2021-298

  28 Jun 2021

28 Jun 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Compaction effects on evaporation and salt precipitation in drying porous media

Nurit Goldberg1,2, Shmuel Assouline2, Yair Mau1, and Uri Nachshon2 Nurit Goldberg et al.
  • 1The Institute of Environmental Sciences, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 7610001, Israel
  • 2Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization, Rishon Lezion 7505101, Israel

Abstract. Compaction and salinization of soils reduce croplands fertility, affect natural ecosystems, and are major concerns worldwide. Soil compaction compromises soil structure and affects the soil’s hydraulic properties. It therefore may have a significant impact on evaporation and solute transport processes in the soil. In this work, we investigated the combined processes of soil compaction, bare soil evaporation, and salt precipitation. X-ray computed micro tomography techniques were used to study the geometrical soil pore and grain parameters influenced by compaction. The impact of compaction on evaporation and salt precipitation was studied using column experiments. We found that compaction reduced the average grain size and increased the number of grains, due to the crushing of the grains and their translocation within the compacted soil profile. Changes in pore and grain geometry and size were heterogeneously distributed throughout the soil profile, with changes most apparent near the source of compaction, at the soil surface. The column experiments showed that the presence of small pores in the upper layer of the compacted soil profile leads to higher evaporation rates and salt precipitation, due to the compromised hydraulic connectivity to the soil surface and the prolongation of the first stage of evaporation.

Nurit Goldberg et al.

Status: open (until 23 Aug 2021)

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Nurit Goldberg et al.

Nurit Goldberg et al.

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Short summary
In this work the interactions between soil compaction, evaporation and salt accumulation at the vadose zone are being discussed. Changes at the micro and macro scales of the soil physical and hydraulic properties were studied using high resolution imagining techniques, alongside with column experiments, aimed to characterize water flow and evaporation processes at natural, compacted and tilled soil conditions. In addition, salt accumulation at the soil profile was examined for these setups.